Understanding Turing Completeness in Blockchain and Its Impact on Smart Contracts

What is a Turing Machine?

A Turing Machine is a model of computation to measure its ability to use an algorithm. Therefore, it is often used as a litmus test or benchmark for the universal implementation of a computational program.

In theory, a Turing Machine is a model that has the ability to implement any computer algorithm. This concept was introduced by British Mathematician Alan Turing in 1936. Turing Completeness is a property of a programming language or system that has the ability to solve any computational problem.

What is Turing Completeness in Blockchain?

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A turing completeness machine in a blockchain is a sought after property that enable the network to process different types of applications and smart contracts. Smart contracts are automation protocols that perform functions based on predetermined parameters.

Smart contracts are added to the main frame of a blockchain network. They contain complicated logic and carry out a wide range of computational operations to make a blockchain network Turing-complete.

One example of Turing complete blockchain is Ethereum network. Solidity is a programming language that is used to write complex DApps and smart contracts. Silvio Micali is a computer scientist who received Turing Award in 2012.

He received appreciation for creation of Algorand blockchain. It is often cited as a prime example of Turing-complete algorithms that are used in the creation of decentralized networks. It also contains a standalone consensus mechanism and scalability features.

Turing Completeness and Its Impact on Smart Contracts

Turing Completeness brings more power to smart contracts by the way of making them more expressive, adaptable, and contains additional computational abilities such as DApps creation.

It is a foundational concept in the field of computer science that has made a big impact on DLT-based smart contracts. A Turing complete smart contract transaction is universally programmable if it has the computational ability of a Turing Machine.

This brings a massive amount of flexibility and refinement to smart contracts. In the same manner, Turing complete networks such as Ethereum consist of a wide variety of decentralized applications. At the same time, these blockchains can express and operate complicated algorithms. The impact of Turing completeness impacts smart contracts in many ways. Some of the impacts are listed here:

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Turing completeness brings more flexibility and dynamism to smart contracts. In this way, smart contract can add more features in additional to direct transactions.


In order to ensure security and predictability for smart contracts, Turing complete networks have to add additional layers of auditing and development. As such, developers aim to prevent scenarios such as infinite loops and any other unforeseen technical lags.


Turing completeness brings more creativity to smart contracts by the way of allowing developers to conduct investigations and launch a wide range of applications. In this manner, it supports the development of decentralized networks.


Turing complete blockchains allows smart contracts to add complex business conditions and guidelines. However, this complexity can also add to the probable outcomes that require programmers to integrate more checks and balance systems.

Role of Ethereum Virtual Machines in Turing Completeness

EVM is the computational engine for the Ethereum blockchain that governs blockchain networks and introduces smart contract functionality. Therefore, EVM is an important part of Turing completeness for Ethereum. It grants programmers the ability to make and operate decentralized applications on Ethereum native programming language namely Solidity.

This language is designed to be Turing complete meaning that it can address any computable function. At the same time, EVM also brings more flexibility to Ethereum via a decentralized application layer.

In this manner, the blockchain is able to operate complex algorithms and business logic. EVM is also accountable for managing gas structure based on computing resources. It mandates that users pay a required amount of gas following every operation.

In this manner, the Ethereum network remains efficient, stable, and preserves scarce resources. Additionally, EVM compatibility enables communication among various smart contracts. Ethereum Virtual Machine also makes room for a host of varied decentralized applications to bolster Ethereum’s standing within the DeFi and Blockchain sector.   


Turing complete blockchain networks contribute towards the development and progress of DeFi sector. However, it consists of some drawbacks such as unpredictability, vulnerabilities, and unexpected integrations between different types of smart contracts.

Author: Isacco Genovesi

Isacco writes news articles, reviews and guides about cryptocurrencies including technical analysis, blockchain events, coin prices marketcap and detailed reviews on crypto exchanges and trading platforms.

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